Libraries have traditionally regarded silence as golden, but apparently not Santa Monica’s Montana Branch. On January 11th they hosted Laughter Rhythm, an event wherein people congregated in the community room to spend the night shouting, laughing, and drumming.

This was not the first time. In the past several years, the Montana Branch has regularly hosted these gatherings of clowns and jokers. One event was called Laughter Yoga. You try to read or study while shouts, laughter — and now drumming — fill the library.

Perhaps participants will insist that laughter yoga and drumming are critical to their health, and the Montana Branch is the only place they can obtain this vital therapy. I doubt it. Yet exaggerating and spinning selfish desires into health or safety issues is typical in modern American political dialog, so such a claim would not surprise me.

Even if true, it’s irrelevant. Noise-making has no place in a library, anymore than do cigarettes in hospitals or bicycles on sidewalks. The Montana Branch should cease hosting loud events.

Thomas M. Sipos

Santa Monica, CA